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Labor Day has come and gone. I haven’t accomplished as much as I planned to this summer, but it gives me hope and ambition for next summer’s agenda. Days of grilling outside, listening to boring tales from distant relatives and mowing the lawn are giving way to cooking venison pot roast cozily inside and splitting some firewood.
Summer in Narrowsburg has always brought me tremendous joy. Entire days spent down at “the rocks” under the bridge, swimming across the river with the boys. Once, a friend’s parent saw us while driving across the bridge, which later led to us all getting scolded. Someone’s porch on School Street became home base for countless nights of manhunt; the seeking team would hang in the kitchen for what felt like eternity as the hiding team ran to find their spots. Crawling, stalking, hiding, jumping, running and slapping your hands over your mouth as you try to quiet your laughter because of Karl’s jokes. The days spent skateboarding—never being skillful at it in the least, but always trying to jump a couple stairs at the school until you finally gave up, though you never really committed to any attempt from the beginning. Riding down the hills and trying to grip the board for dear life as you felt your legs start to squirm like two loose shoe laces. To the days of recent, meeting a pretty lady for drinks at The Narrowsburg Inn after spending all afternoon at Little Lake Erie fishing for bass, though you didn’t really pay attention to your cast and let your mind wander in anticipation.
The leaves are turning and my mind goes back to old memories of the fall. Jumping in the car, filled with excitement, as my father would take me down to buy our hunting licenses. Talking with a Cliff in the shop about hunting seasons prior and the aspirations for the season on hand. Being outside in freshly dried flannel, dancing to Neil Young’s “Harvest moon” as you watched that same moon rise into the night sky. Also to the days of this week driving on 97, trying to spot critters on the side of the road, while wondering how I ever beat up my car this much.
There is a powerful allure to this town that I have felt my entire life, and I love to see and hear about that attraction as it’s felt by others. I enjoy seeing different faces as I go for a run through town during the weekend. Each week is a different family, couple, group, or lone individual coming to check out all the hype. Some read about Narrowsburg in an article, others in a blog. Some just overheard a conversation being told outside their local coffee shop in Brooklyn. The word keeps on spreading, and it’s great to see new people loving our hamlet in the same way I always have. This little town has its own little country buzz to it, and many are coming to create their own memories because they feel it too.
Brandon Kent has lived in Sullivan County most of his life and is an avid outdoorsman, spending a lot of time hunting, fly fishing, or just walking through the woods. He works at the Center for Discovery in Harris NY.